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Opportunity for All:  Inequity, Linked Fate and Social Justice in Detroit and Michigan
Opportunity for All:  Inequity, Linked Fate and Social Justice in Detroit and Michigan
Opportunity for All:  Inequity, Linked Fate and Social Justice in Detroit and Michigan
Opportunity for All:  Inequity, Linked Fate and Social Justice in Detroit and Michigan
Opportunity for All:  Inequity, Linked Fate and Social Justice in Detroit and Michigan
Opportunity for All:  Inequity, Linked Fate and Social Justice in Detroit and Michigan
Opportunity for All:  Inequity, Linked Fate and Social Justice in Detroit and Michigan
Opportunity for All:  Inequity, Linked Fate and Social Justice in Detroit and Michigan
Opportunity for All:  Inequity, Linked Fate and Social Justice in Detroit and Michigan
Opportunity for All:  Inequity, Linked Fate and Social Justice in Detroit and Michigan
Opportunity for All:  Inequity, Linked Fate and Social Justice in Detroit and Michigan
Opportunity for All:  Inequity, Linked Fate and Social Justice in Detroit and Michigan
Opportunity for All:  Inequity, Linked Fate and Social Justice in Detroit and Michigan
Opportunity for All:  Inequity, Linked Fate and Social Justice in Detroit and Michigan
Opportunity for All:  Inequity, Linked Fate and Social Justice in Detroit and Michigan
Opportunity for All:  Inequity, Linked Fate and Social Justice in Detroit and Michigan
Opportunity for All:  Inequity, Linked Fate and Social Justice in Detroit and Michigan
Opportunity for All:  Inequity, Linked Fate and Social Justice in Detroit and Michigan
Opportunity for All:  Inequity, Linked Fate and Social Justice in Detroit and Michigan
Opportunity for All:  Inequity, Linked Fate and Social Justice in Detroit and Michigan
Opportunity for All:  Inequity, Linked Fate and Social Justice in Detroit and Michigan
Opportunity for All:  Inequity, Linked Fate and Social Justice in Detroit and Michigan
Opportunity for All:  Inequity, Linked Fate and Social Justice in Detroit and Michigan
Opportunity for All:  Inequity, Linked Fate and Social Justice in Detroit and Michigan
Opportunity for All:  Inequity, Linked Fate and Social Justice in Detroit and Michigan
Opportunity for All:  Inequity, Linked Fate and Social Justice in Detroit and Michigan
Opportunity for All:  Inequity, Linked Fate and Social Justice in Detroit and Michigan
Opportunity for All:  Inequity, Linked Fate and Social Justice in Detroit and Michigan
Opportunity for All:  Inequity, Linked Fate and Social Justice in Detroit and Michigan
Opportunity for All:  Inequity, Linked Fate and Social Justice in Detroit and Michigan
Opportunity for All:  Inequity, Linked Fate and Social Justice in Detroit and Michigan
Opportunity for All:  Inequity, Linked Fate and Social Justice in Detroit and Michigan
Opportunity for All:  Inequity, Linked Fate and Social Justice in Detroit and Michigan
Opportunity for All:  Inequity, Linked Fate and Social Justice in Detroit and Michigan
Opportunity for All:  Inequity, Linked Fate and Social Justice in Detroit and Michigan
Opportunity for All:  Inequity, Linked Fate and Social Justice in Detroit and Michigan
Opportunity for All:  Inequity, Linked Fate and Social Justice in Detroit and Michigan
Opportunity for All:  Inequity, Linked Fate and Social Justice in Detroit and Michigan
Opportunity for All:  Inequity, Linked Fate and Social Justice in Detroit and Michigan
Opportunity for All:  Inequity, Linked Fate and Social Justice in Detroit and Michigan
Opportunity for All:  Inequity, Linked Fate and Social Justice in Detroit and Michigan
Opportunity for All:  Inequity, Linked Fate and Social Justice in Detroit and Michigan
Opportunity for All:  Inequity, Linked Fate and Social Justice in Detroit and Michigan
Opportunity for All:  Inequity, Linked Fate and Social Justice in Detroit and Michigan
Opportunity for All:  Inequity, Linked Fate and Social Justice in Detroit and Michigan
Opportunity for All:  Inequity, Linked Fate and Social Justice in Detroit and Michigan
Opportunity for All:  Inequity, Linked Fate and Social Justice in Detroit and Michigan
Opportunity for All:  Inequity, Linked Fate and Social Justice in Detroit and Michigan
Opportunity for All:  Inequity, Linked Fate and Social Justice in Detroit and Michigan
Opportunity for All:  Inequity, Linked Fate and Social Justice in Detroit and Michigan
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Opportunity for All: Inequity, Linked Fate and Social Justice in Detroit and Michigan

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  • 1. Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion Keynote Address January 30, 2009 john a. powell Executive Director, Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity & Williams Chair In Civil Rights & Civil Liberties, Moritz College Of Law Opportunity for All: Inequity, Linked Fate and Social Justice in Detroit and Michigan
  • 2. Overview
    • Report update: a few things have changed since summer…
      • Economic recession
      • Subprime catastrophe
      • Proposed auto relief packages
      • TARP
      • President Obama’s proposed stimulus plan
    • August report findings
    • How does race matter today?
    • How do we think (consciously or not) & talk about race?
    • How do we re-think policy to be genuinely inclusive?
    • Where do we go from here?
  • 3. Crisis …
    • Etymology: Middle English, from Latin, from Greek krisis, literally, decision, from krinein to decide
    • The Chinese symbol for crisis is a combination of the symbols for danger and opportunity
    Courtesy Hill Holiday Communications
  • 4. Danger…
    • Michigan has been in a recession for five years
    • Unemployment rate 3x 2000 levels
    • Close to 20% of the Michigan population are on some form of public assistance (state record)
    • Food banks struggling
    • Doctors reporting more anxiety and depression
    • 130,000 Michiganders ran out of regular unemployment benefits by 9/2008
    • 1.7 million residents have “basic skill challenges”
    • ½ the people employed nationwide by the Big 3 live in MI
  • 5. Danger…
    • No industry or state is immune …
    Sad Day For Microsoft: 5,000 Laid Off, Earnings And Revenues Down Cascading layoffs hit workers at Pfizer, Caterpillar, Home Depot; no relief in sight By JEANNINE AVERSA , Associated Press Last update: January 26, 2009                                               
  • 6. Opportunity…
    • Detroit’s “frog in a pot” is cooked. Everyone else’s is just warm…
    19 th Century 21 st Century
  • 7. Detroit …the epicenter of change
    • Detroit historically redefined manufacturing worldwide and has many advances to be proud of:
      • Innovation (product & process)
      • Mass-marketing, affordability
      • Integrated work force
      • UAW integration
      • Pay, benefits lifted an entire generation into the middle class
    • Now that manufacturing is being re-thought and re-engineered globally, Detroit is at the epicenter of change and the dislocations of change
  • 8. Detroit’s lessons…
    • The dislocations of change do not impact everyone equally
    • Bailout and stimulus packages have inherent priorities and values
    • Is everyone represented at the table to rebuild not only Detroit -- but a nation and a world challenged by:
      • Recession
      • Manufacturing, technology & communications shifts
      • Climate change / environmental sustainability
      • Major demographic shifts
  • 9. Detroit’s lessons con’t…
    • For every step toward diversity and inclusion, did we take two steps back? (We are conflicted…and learning)
      • Integrated workplace … but not residential neighborhoods
      • Better pay and benefits … but gender inequality
      • Building urban anchors … but federal and state $$ for suburbs
      • Separate is unequal … Milliken v. Bradley
      • A generation was lifted into the middle-class via industry jobs
      • … but will slide backward without education and training
      • … this was a historical anomaly. The CEO of Nationwide Insurance recently said there is not one job across the entire company for someone without a college education
  • 10. You say crisis, I say opportunity
    • “ You never want a serious crisis to go to waste," Rahm Emanuel, Mr. Obama's new chief of staff, told a Wall Street Journal conference of top corporate chief executives
      • A crisis creates a sense of urgency
      • No one can deny that the system is broken
      • An opportunity to learn what worked and what did not
    • Depression….New Deal
    • Civil War … Reconstruction
    • 2008-2009 Recession … ?
  • 11. Detroit’s experience is critical
    • We can’t predict the future, but we can think about how to move forward
      • How do we nurture an adaptable work force?
      • What are the critical infrastructures for the 21 st century?
      • What is sustainable growth?
      • How do we balance the needs of capital and labor?
      • What is government’s role?
  • 12. Opportunity: stimulus $ is public $
    • What are our public values for the next century?
      • Fair investment in all people
      • Economic and environmental sustainability
      • Accountability – personal, institutional, and regulatory
    • Did the bank bailouts advance these values?
    Executive Pay Limits May Prove Toothless Loophole in Bailout Provision Leaves Enforcement in Doubt (Washington Post, 12/15/08) Economist explains why credit still frozen
  • 13. Opportunity: green infrastructure
    • Leading civic, business, environmental & transportation coalition (America 2050) advocates for “Fix, Phase, Green, Train, Count”
      • Fix: Fix-It-First
      • Phase: Phase in strategic projects, job training, capacity building in construction, engineering and project management
      • Green: Prioritize projects that promote healthy & compact communities
      • Train: Invest in job training and make jobs accessible to people in hardest hit communities
      • Count: Funding must be set aside to assess impact, results
  • 14. Green infrastructure con’t…
    • “ Not just any old infrastructure will do”
    • Divide country into “megaregions” (like Boston-to-DC corridor) and ask governors to work together on projects that transcend state boundaries
    • Instead of new highways, fix-it-first
    • Emphasize mass transit
    • Retrofit old buildings
    • Update antiquated water and wastewater systems
      • Source: Armando Carbonell, “A blueprint for a green agenda” Boston Globe Dec. 4, 2008.
  • 15. Opportunity: stimulus planning
    • How do we make it fair, sustainable, accountable?
      • Incentives for inclusion of people of color
      • Investment in public transit (prioritize projects that connect people to jobs)
      • Grants and loans for small and minority-, women-, and community-disadvantaged businesses
      • Collect data by race and gender to understand impacts of economic recovery policy
        • Source: Maya Wiley, Center for Social Inclusion
  • 16. Opportunity: foreclosure relief
    • How do we make it fair, sustainable, accountable?
      • Sustainable credit options for low-income families and credit-deprived neighborhoods (fair investment in all communities)
      • Living-wage jobs and “green” housing standards (economic and environmental sustainability)
      • Disciplined, fair and flexible underwriting standards; a robust retooling of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; and an overhaul of financial regulation (accountability)
  • 17. August Report Key Findings
    • Over 1/3 of the region’s population lives in an area of low opportunity
    • 1 out of 4 Wayne County households pay more than 30% of their income for housing
    • Less than 4% of the African Americans in the region live in areas of high opportunity
    • Nearly 1 million African Americans live in low opportunity areas in the region
    • More than half of the region’s Latino population lives in low opportunity areas
  • 18. Racial Disparity and Opportunity
  • 19. Education and Poverty
  • 20. Opportunity Mapping
    • High opportunity exclusive to suburban areas of greater Detroit
    • Limited access to opportunity in inner-city Detroit
    • 90% of regional African Americans live in an area of low-opportunity
  • 21. How does race work today?
    • There are still practices, cultural norms and institutional arrangements that help create & maintain (disparate) racialized outcomes
      • We call this “structural racialization”
      • It is a very different way of looking at race from “Is he a racist?”
      • The way race matters changes over time (progress/retreat)
      • We must consider how we each stand differently with respect to our opportunities for work, education, parenting, retirement…
      • We must understand the work our institutions do, not what we wished they would do
        • … in order to make them more equitable and fair
  • 22. History shapes our present & future
  • 23. We were separated from each other… http://www.albany.edu/jmmh/vol2no1/sugrue.html Detroit’s “Wailing Wall” being constructed
  • 24. Opportunity still plays out across space
      • Measures of segregation (i.e. the “dissimilarity index”) have nudged downward a tiny bit but are still high
      • Outward growth can pull resources away from existing communities
      • The “favored quarter” has a disproportionate share of high quality opportunity structures
  • 25. Segregation leads to disparate (racialized) outcomes Lower Educational Outcomes Increased Flight of Affluent Families Neighborhood Segregation School Segregation & Concentrated Poverty
  • 26. But…what does your neighborhood have to do with your IQ?
      • Living in “concentrated disadvantage” reduces student IQ by 4 points, roughly the equivalent to missing one year of school
        • Sampson, Robert et. al., “Durable effects of concentrated disadvantage on verbal ability among African-American Children.” PNAS 105(3): 845-852.
    • Children growing up in very poor families with low social status experience unhealthy levels of stress hormones, which impair their neural development
    • In high-poverty communities, children have levels of lead in their blood that are nine times above average. High levels of lead are linked to attention deficit disorder and irreversible loss of cognitive functioning
      • Sources: Cookson, Clive. “Poverty mars formation of infant brains .” Financial Times.com 2/16/2008. (The biggest negative effects were found on language and memory.) ; Richard L. Canfield, Ph.D., et. al., (April 17, 2003). “Intellectual Impairment in Children with Blood Lead Concentrations below 10 µg per Deciliter.” New England Journal of Medicine . Vol. 348, no. 16: 1517-1526. Joel T. Nigg et. al, “Blood Lead Levels Associated with Clinically Diagnosed Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Mediated by Weak Cognitive Control.” Biological Psychiatry Vol. 63, Issue 3: 325-331.
  • 27. Do we have the conditions for a meritocracy?
  • 28. Different opportunities for children High Opportunity Low Opportunity
  • 29.  
  • 30.  
  • 31. What happens if we don’t change? Figure from Atkinson and Wial, “Boosting Productivity, Innovation, and Growth through a National Innovation Foundation,” Brookings Policy Brief available at http://www.brookings.edu/reports/2008/04_federal_role_atkinson_wial.aspx
  • 32. How do we do it?
    • Put your outcome first: what do you want to achieve?
    • Work backwards from there … how do you achieve it, for everyone?
    • Understand our linked fates
    • Talk about race – it is part of the American story
  • 33. Outcome: every school a high performing school…how?
    • No school has concentrated poverty rate over 40%
      • Concentrated poverty reduces everyone’s performance
    • Early childhood education
      • Research shows critical growth in early years
    • Link P-12 to Universities, community colleges, hospitals
      • Connect to anchors & their resources
    • District magnet & charter schools
    • School-to-career programs; collaborative education
    • De-tracking
    • Service learning
  • 34. Understand and communicate our linked fates
    • Racialized structures and policies have created the correlation of race and poverty. People assume that only people of color are harmed.
    • BUT: these effects are far reaching and impact everyone – we share a linked fate
    • Example: credit tightened for everyone after the subprime fiasco
  • 35. Talking about Race…post Obama
  • 36. A post-racial society? Anxiety over racial identity … and humor Tracy Morgan accepting a Golden Globe for 30 Rock “ I am the face of post-racial America. Deal with it, Cate Blanchett!”
  • 37. Talking about race…productively
    • Acknowledge racial progress
      • Recognize our racial history and connect it to our future
      • Explain how past injustices still matter today
    • Create empathetic space
      • Everyone needs help now and then; we all want to do better
      • We share deep values, concerns, and hopes
    • Provide potential solutions
      • We need to be able to articulate what we support - not just what we oppose.
        • Martin Luther King, Jr. did not start a speech with: “I have a complaint…”
    http://www.equaljusticesociety.org/2008/12/talking-about-race-in-the-obama-era/
  • 38. Acknowledge “Implicit Bias”
    • Most of us have implicit (unconscious) biases that can impact our behavior and understanding
      • We are complex, conflicted internally, and our biases can be activated (+ or -) without consciously recognizing it
      • We need to talk about race in ways that are not divisive
  • 39. Talking about race … productively UNPRODUCTIVE PRODUCTIVE Frameworks Institute Message Brief: Framing Race Don’t frame issues around “what’s fair” Reinforce the belief of opportunity for all Assert that system flaws hurt everyone Don’t focus on who or what is responsible for present inequities Steer the conversation toward the results being sought (i.e., a quality education for everyone) Don’t focus on exceptional individuals Talk about where systems we all rely upon break down and how we can fix those systems
  • 40. What is a truly universal policy?
    • “ Universal” policies are often based on a non-universal standard (i.e. social security: able-bodied white males working outside the home full-time for pay)
    • Instead, a targeted universal strategy is inclusive, but pays particular attention to the needs of those falling behind
      • Ex: Every school a performing school
      • What does each school need to get there?
      • What does each student, family, teacher, community need?
      • What are their strengths and constraints?
  • 41. Undercapitalized Regions
    • Undercapitalized regions are characterized by significant urban decline (population loss, vacancy, limited investment)
    • Undercapitalized regions are highly fragmented and have stark racial and social disparities
    • The Core “Rust Belt” Region tends to be undercapitalized today
  • 42. Rust Belt cities in comparison…
  • 43.  
  • 44.  
  • 45. Unemployment Rates
  • 46. Undercapitalized Cities
    • Characteristics
      • Population decline or stagnation
      • Home value depreciation or stagnation
      • High poverty, disrupted social networks and concentrated poverty
      • Vacant land and declining tax base
      • Employment de-concentration and limited new commercial/residential investment
      • Single gentrified neighborhood may exist, but majority of neighborhoods are in decline
    • Threats
      • Continued disinvestment and decline
      • Continued isolation of central city from opportunity and investment
      • Existing tools for community development (place based affordable housing projects) may be accelerating central city decline
      • Sinking tide lowers all boats
    Source: Building a New Framework for Community Development in Weak Market Cities , prepared by Community Development Partnership Network (April 2003)
  • 47.
      • Targeted neighborhood planning and use of funds for redevelopment activities
      • Promote access to suburban opportunity structures
        • Ex: Opportunity-based regional affordable housing strategies
      • Regional coalition building (equitable regionalism)
        • Ex: Build coalitions among local governments, business community, CDC’s, philanthropic institutions and anchor institutions
      • Strongly encourage reinvestment
        • Stimulate private sector (subsidies, market analysis)
    Strategies for Undercapitalized Cities
  • 48. Strategies for Undercapitalized Cities con’t…
    • Promote economic development strategies that widen opportunity for low-income residents
    • Leverage place-rooted anchor institutions for equitable revitalization
    • Improve resident mobility with equitable transportation policies
    • Reclaim & rehabilitate vacant and abandoned property
    • Make all neighborhoods in the region neighborhoods of high opportunity
    • Increase affordable housing in high-opportunity neighborhoods
    Source: Shared Prosperity, Stronger Regions: An Agenda for Rebuilding America’s Older Core Cities by PolicyLink
  • 49. Multi-pronged strategy
  • 50. Thank you! Questions or comments? www.Kirwaninstitute.org

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